The Holy Hospitallers are a Crusading Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. They are extremely religious and fervently worship the God-Emperor with their every act. They also are firm believers in protecting the weak and aiding the less fortunate. They hold the Apothecarium in the highest esteem. All Battle-Brothers are expected to receive apothecary training and must be a certified apothecary before advancing to the rank of Preceptor or higher. Their holy mission is to provide aid and protection to Imperial pilgrims on their way to Terra through dangerous space. Typically the Hospitallers handle the escorting of the pilgrim fleets themselves and allow the Commanderies (crusading Battle Companies), usually with a Preceptory or Bailiwick attached, to bring medical aid to any planets in need that they come across on their trek. Each Commanderie is outfitted with an increased amount of medics and other medical personnel, along with Priests and Missionaries. Much more than is found in typical Imperial Guard Regiments. Even though this has been the Hospitallers' primary mission, they also participate in crusades. The Holy Hospitallers have felt that crusading is apart of their lineage and a duty to be performed. Generally, there will be at least one Priory on Crusade at all times while the others accomplish their mission.
In the wake of the chaos and anarchy of the Horus Heresy, the Temple of the Savior Emperor, the largest and most successful Emperor-worship cult, provided a message of hope and reunification through a common faith. Cults who rejected being absorbed, or who couldn't be absorbed, saw themselves being persecuted by fanatical mobs who preferred the Savior Emperor's increasingly "orthodox" theology. Officially, the Temple rejected this violence performed in its name. This development culminated in the 32nd Millennium by which time almost two-thirds of the Imperium's population followed the teachings of the Temple of the Savior Emperor, the exceptions being the Space Marines, who have never formally acknowledged the divinity of the Emperor in a nod to his wishes and the lost Imperial Truth and the Adeptus Mechanicus of Mars, who had their own form of worship in the Cult Mechanicus. The Temple's importance, influence, and power rapidly outmatched that of any other Lectitio Divinitatus cult dedicated to Emperor-worship.
The Chapter of the Holy Hospitallers can trace their origins to this period in history, following the creation of the Adeptus Ministorum in the early 32nd Millennium, who were officially recognised by the High Lords of Terra as the official state religion of the Imperium of Man. In 177.M32, the newly created Adeptus Ministorum commissioned Cardinal Ravannate to establish the Missonarium Proletariatus naming him High Abbot of the order. To this day, the Missonarium Proletariatus works alongside the Missionaria Galaxia, accompanying Imperial Explorators or even Rogue Traders on their voyages into unknown space, bringing rediscovered human-settled worlds into the full fold of the Imperial Cult and the worship of the God-Emperor of Mankind. As part of this commission, was the creation of several Apothecarium fleets whose mission it was to take Missionaries to far-flung human world and bring much needed aid as well as the holy words of the Ecclesiarchy.
Founding of the Holy Hospitallers
In 201.M32, shortly after the success of the White Crusade carried out by the zealous Black Templars Space Marine Chapter, High Abbot Ravannate of the Missonarium Proletariatus, petitioned the Adeptus Ministorum on Terra for a stronger military force to protect the Apothecarium Fleets that had been plagued by piracy and terrorism. It was decided by the Holy Synod that it would be appropriate to commission a new Space Marine Chapter to add to the rest of the Third Founding being established at this time. With the blessing of the Ecclesiarch of the Adeptus Ministorum, in their infinite wisdom, the High Lords of Terra acquiesced to the Ecclesiarchy's request, and so, the Black Templars were given the rare honour of providing their gene-seed to found a new Space Marine Chapter. To this newly created Chapter, they were entitled the name of the Holy Hospitallers. Jerard the Blessed, a notable senior-ranking Black Templars Chaplain, was chosen to lead this newly created Chapter as its first Grand Prior (Chapter Master). The High Lords of Terra then granted the Holy Hospitallers the Sypros System as their domain and demesne. The Hospitallers immediately set out to occupy the two planets in the system -- the Agri-World, Syprus, and the Forge World of Gozo.
Establishing his nascent Chapter upon the two planets, Grand Prior Jerard set about with the formal organisation of his newly created Chapter. He desired to go in a different direction than their progenitor Chapter, yet he also held an aversion to the strict dogma of the Codex Astartes. Faced with such a dilemma Jerard decided to pen his own treatise, known as the Book of Jerard, also known as the Book of the Blessed. A year later, Grand Prior Jerard petitioned for twenty of the Waltese Imperial Guard regiments to be attached to his Chapter as Commanderies in order to facilitate their mission. Upon their arrival to Syprus they discovered the taint of a Chaos Cult deeply spread throughout the planet. They set upon the planet on a cleansing mission to bring the world back into the graces of the Emperor. By the time they were finished, the planet held a population of several hundred-thousand, where once there had been many millions. In reward for this action and glorious service to the Holy Hospitallers, the Commanderies made up of Waltese Imperial Guard regiments were disbanded, and its officer were given right of conquest over Syprus, replacing its purged cultic aristocracy, and given the task of stewardship over its surviving inhabitants, thus ensuring their loyalty to the God-Emperor and His Imperium.
The Roves Campaigns
- "A dozen or more battle-brothers fell to take that tower, and twice that number were grievously wounded. But take it we did, and in doing so secured a sector, a city, a continent, and, at length, an entire world."
- — Unknown Battle-Brother, Holy Hospitallers Chapter, during the Roves Suppression Campaign
Following the successful cleansing of Syprus, Grand Prior Jerard felt that such a world that had been so enthralled by the corrupting touch of Chaos, would never be suitable as a home world for his Chapter. Therefore, he decreed that the Holy Hospitallers would set upon a crusade, to seek a world worthy to be called home. For the next two years, the Holy Hospitallers brought both the light of the Emperor to half a dozen worlds, and bolter and blade to the enemies of mankind. In 203.M32, they soon found a potential planet near an outlying system -- the civilised planet of Roves -- which had fallen into anarchy and rebellion by the time of Hospitallers' arrival. The crusading Chapter took it upon themselves to bring the light of the Holy Emperor to the benighted planet and to sweep away the heretic and the apostate. During this time, the Hospitallers established a reputation as benevolent conquerors. Though they would defeat their enemies, tear down their strongholds and break his beliefs, they knew that you would still have a land that could turn against the Imperium in the future, or provide other enemies with a weakness to strike at. Victory was not enough, to conquer one had not only to defeat their foes, but to hold the fruits of that victory. Like true Sons of Dorn, this philosophy underpinned every action of the Holy Hospitallers. In attack they would pay any price in their own blood to secure victory, and once they had victory they would begin to consolidate what they had taken. Soon after conquering Roves, the first Imperial bastions began to rise against the cold sky within days of that victory. Across Roves the fruits of their fortress-craft gazed down on those who dwelt in the land around, a constant sign that the strength which had conquered them remained, rooted in to the earth.
This pattern can be seen time and again in the later campaigns the Holy Hospitallers have taken part in over the following millennia. It is said that the dead of the Chapter still lie in the foundations of each Imperial bastion they've raised, their skulls and blood mingling with the stone and mortar of their walls. With these bastions pinning the conquered lands to the Imperium, order would spread amongst the people of these new domains. But the Holy Hospitallers are more than builders and castellans. At their root they are the most direct expression of the Emperor's benevolence -- they are the stalwart protectors of His people.
The First Siege of Roves
For the next seven decades all was well on Roves as the Holy Hospitallers spread the word of the God-Emperor, the people of Roves became both industrious and utterly loyal to the Imperium and the Emperor. Amidst the devastation of their conquered world, under the supervision of the Holy Hospitallers, the people of Roves raised temples to the worship of the God-Emperor. Chaplains and vassal preachers went amongst the people to speak of the god who now reigned over them. The foundations of new cities were sunk in the embers of the old. The world that had been re-founded by the Hospitallers grew and prospered. Sweeping changes were carried out worldwide to improve the planet's overall defensive capabilities, and massive fortifications were constructed across the world until the planet's cities had been rebuilt into their current form. The Holy Hospitallers Chapter fortified Roves as a great bastion of defence against the constant and persistent xenos threats that had plagued the planet for millennia. The population and economy of Roves became wholly geared towards meeting the demands of Imperial defence. Large numbers of Imperial Guard regiments were raised from the planet's populace. Soldiers raised from Roves became well-versed in the arts of war and the doctrines of the Tactica Imeprialis. These disciplined, honourable and loyal soldiers, are proficient combatants long before they are even taken to serve in the Imperial Guard. Many times, when the Hospitallers despatch a detachment on crusade or to an Explorator fleet, often times, several detachments of Roves Imperial Guard Regiments will attach themselves as temporary Commanderies to help augment the Holy Hospitallers crusading fleet.
The vigilance and preparation of the Holy Hospitallers and the people of Roves paid off, as they were eventually beset by a massive Ork WAAAGH!, led by Warboss Balrok Bloodthumpa, in 277.M32. Without warning the greenskins launch a lightning assault upon the human world, but the formidable defences of Roves halt the Orks' steamroller advance into the sector. Though the Orks fight with formidable tenacity, they break themselves upon the walls and cunning defences of the formidable bastion-cities of Roves. The Holy Hospitallers and the local Planetary Defence Forces slaughter hundreds of thousands of Orks. The formidable defences of Roves prove too much for the greenskin horde, and eventually they took such losses that they were forced to retreat to their ramshackle starships and eventually escape the system. Warboss Bloodthumpa vowed he would return to exact his revenge against the upstart humans.
The Second Siege of Roves
Chapter Home World
Planets and Systems
- Cleansing of Syprus (201.M32) - Following their inception, the newly-created Holy Hospitallers Chapter were granted Sypros System as their domain, which included the vitally important agri-world of Syprus. Upon their arrival to Syprus, the Hospitallers discovered the taint of a Chaos spread throughout the planet. They immediateley set upon the tainted world to cleanse the filth of Chaos and to bring the light of the Emperor to the downtrodden people. By the time they were through, the planet's once numerous population that had been comprised of millions, were now only left with several hundred-thousand that were deemed untainted. In reward for their action and glorious service to the Holy Hospitallers, the Commanderies of Waltese Imperial Guard regiments were disbanded and given the task of stewardship over its surviving inhabitants, to ensure their loyalty and faith in the God-Emperor.
- Crusade of Blades (201-203.M32) - Following the successful cleansing of Syprus, Grand Prior Jerard decided that such a place that had been so tainted by the corrupting touch of Chaos, would never be suitable for his Chapter's homeworld. Once again, the Holy Hospitallers set off on crusade to search for a suitable planet to call their own. After a two year crusade, where they successfully bring nearly a dozen worlds back into the Imperial fold, they finally come upon a potential homeworld -- a planet in the throws of rebellion, called Roves.
- Roves Campaign (203.M32) - Over a standard year the Holy Hospitallers conquer the rebellious world of Roves and eventually establish it as their new Chapter homeworld.
- The First Siege of Roves (277.M32) - When the massive Ork WAAAGH!, led by Warboss Balrok Bloodthumpa attacked the Imperial world of Roves, they struck hard and fast. Ultimately, they broke themselves against the formidable fortifications of Roves, thanks in no small part to the engineering savvy of the Holy Hospitallers Chapter. As true Sons of Dorn, the Holy Hospitallers had not been lax after the conquering of Roves and had made fortified the planet as best as they knew how. True to the tenets of their Chapter, true victory lay in not only defeating one's enemies, but holding the fruits of that victory. Though the greenskin tide threw themselves upon the bastions of the Hospitallers by the thousands, the Chapter's stern fortress-craft and unbreakable resolve proved too much for the Orks. Warboss Bloodthumpa vows to return to exact his revenge against the upstart humans.
- The Second Siege of Roves (389.M32) - Over a century later, WAAAGH! Bloodthumpa once again struck the fortified world of Rove, and once again, they failed against the might of the Holy Hospitallers and the people of Rove.
- Battle for Sector Medditerras (494.M32) - The Holy Hospitallers began their crusade against the Sector Medditerras, a sector of space dominated by unrepentant humans and their vile xenos allies. They created a stronghold on the moon of Halicairn, and from there, began probing into the sector. Early on, they had clashes with enemy fleets and had minor victories against enemy outposts and space stations.
- Liberation of Walta (530.M32) - The Hospitallers managed the capture of Walta. The first major planet controlled by the human renegades of Sector Medditerras. The Hospitallers began the rebuilding of Walta almost immediately, turning Walta into the base of operations for the sector.
- Defence of Walta (622.M32) - The human/xenos renegades struck back, besieging Walta in the last offensive by the heretical alliance. Reinforcements were brought in from Roves and the heretics were finally defeated. Enemy worlds began to fall more swiftly following this victory and the Holy Hospitallers were responsible for a number of great victories.
- The Third Siege of Roves (789.M32) - For the third time, the Orks once against struck Roves, and this time found it to be undermanned since a great portion of the Holy Hospitallers' strength was out on crusade in the Medditerras Sector. The skeletal defence force of Hospitallers rally the Planetary Defence Force and the people of Roves to take part in the valiant defence of their homeworld against the unstoppable onslaught of the greenskin tide.
- Control Sector Medditerras (792.M32) - After over two centuries of campaigning, Sector Medditerras, comprised of well over 200 inhabited worlds, is finally under the full-control of the Holy Hospitallers.
- The Anteus Crusade (521-537.M34) - The Holy Hospitallers 2nd Priory participated in the Anteus Crusade, which led to the conquest of the Kampala Sector for the Imperium, fighting alongside elements from their fellow Scions of Dorn Chapters, the Death Templars and Tempest Knights. Anteus was a long-isolated star system, only rediscovered by the Imperium in the mid 34th Millennium on the outer fringes of the galaxy. Attempts were made to integrate its worlds into the Imperium, but the system had long been prosperous and independent, and scorned Imperial interference. The first missionaries from the Missionaria Galaxia were slaughtered, but when a second group of Imperial priests came to the system they brought with them the triumvirate of Imperial Fists' Successor Chapters and brought back the Kampala Sector under Imperial Compliance.
The Hospitallers Chapter is divided into 8 Priories (Demi-Chapter), led by one Prior (equivalent to a Veteran Captain or Force Commander), of 150 marines each. Each Priory is broken up into 5 Bailiwicks (equivalent to a Demi-Company), led by one Bailiff (equivalent to a Marshal) and one Chaplain, of 30 marines each. Each Bailiwick is divided into 3 Preceptories (equivalent to a Squad), led by one Preceptor (equivalent to a Sergeant), of 10 Astartes each. This roughly equates to 1,200 Space Marines. Truly a force to be reckoned with. Within the Chapter exists the Holy Order of the Most Militant, it houses the Chapter's Veterans and has representatives in each Priory. The Priories maintain the rare and powerful Tactical Dreadnought Armor which is reserved for the Chapter's most veteran warriors, the Most Militant.
Order of Battle
|Veteran Priory (Demi-Chapter)||Battle Priories (Demi-Chapters)|
|1st Priory||2st Priory||3rd Priory||4th Priory|
|Reserve Priories (Demi-Chapters)|
|5st Priory||6st Priory||7rd Priory||8th Priory|
Unlike most chapters, the Holy Hospitallers do not have recruiting worlds. Instead they search out aspirants everywhere they go. They typically prefer to start with very young children whose parents they compensate for the loss. The child is then raised in the ways of the Hospitallers, being taught the importance of both Holy Scriptures and physical strength. At the age of 17 the Aspirants begin their trials for initiation into the Hospitallers. Those that fail are sent to serve the chapter in other ways. Some are moved to the Commanderies others become serfs and servitors.
Chapter Combat Doctrine
The Holy Hospitallers believe sound strategy and planning. Using each piece to the best of its ability. They do not shrug from close combat but they do not revel in it either. They are strong believers in flexibility and adaptation. They realize that they could be called upon for many types of missions. Because of this the Hospoitallers train their marines in multiple formations and strategies. They are able to field Codex astartes formations with specific roles for squads as well as intergrating into mixed formations much as their parent chapter, The Black Templars. They also study the extensive application of the guard units that make up their commanderies, generally led by small Astartes elements supported by several platoons and armored vehicles.
- Grand Pior Jerard "The Blessed" - Former senior-ranking Chaplain of the zealous Black Templars Chapter, he was chosen as the first Chapter Master of the newly created Holy Hospitallers Chapter during the Third Founding in 201.M32.
- Grand Prior Demetrius - Current Chapter Master of the Holy Hospitallers.
- Grand Prior Tancred de Comena - Former Chapter Master of the Holy Hosptiallers.
- Prior Militant Opus Fulkes - Prior of the Holy Order of the Most Militant, the elite 1st Priory of the Holy Hospitallers, and Equerry.
- Prior Basil - Legendary hero and commander of the 2nd Priory and Master of the Marches.
- Prior Alexius Comundus - Current commander of the 3rd Priory and Lord Victualer.
- Prior Rikard - A venerable Dreadnought and current commander of the 4th Priory and Master of Rites.
- Prior Etienne Navarre - Current commander of the 5th Priory and Master of Blades.
- Prior Aramis de Thornbur - Current commander of the 6th Priory and Master of the Watch
- Prior Gilbert Montaigu - Current commander of the 7th Priory and Master of the Fleet.
- Prior Jobert Rochefort - Current commander of the 8th Priory and Master Executioner.
- Most Militant Hubert de Payens - Veteran Marine and Priory Champion (Chapter Champion) of the 1st Priory.
- Reclusiarch Barnibus Navarre - Master of Sanctity and twin-brother of Prior Etienne Navarre.
- Chief Librarian Grundwald Nicodemius - Master of the Librarium.
- Forge Master Wayland de Montbard - Senior Techmarine and Master of the Armoury.
- Chief Apothecary Jobert de Moulins - Senior Apothecary and Master of the Apothecarion.
- Bailliff Aldemar
- Preceptor Clement of Aquictaine - Honoured Ancient (Chapter Standard Bearer).
- Preceptor Frederick "The Barber"
- Venerable Brother Bayard - Venerable Dreadnought of the Holy Hospitallers.
Relics and Honors
- The Blessed Blade - Relic artificer Power Sword once wielded by the Blessed Gerard himself. Symbol of authority of the Grand Priors
The Holy Hospitallers wear white armor with red pauldrons, black backpack w/ white trim and a black chest eagle. The pauldrons have white markings and black trim. The Most Militant, the Chapter's Veterans, wear black helmets and surplices, black being the color of veterancy for the chapter. Some Hospitallers are given the honor of wearing red surplices. The colour of Priory indicates company number in accordance with the dictates of the Codex Astartes -- White (1st Priory), Yellow/Gold (2nd Priory), Red (3rd Priory), Green (4th Priory), Black (5th Priory), Orange (6th Priory), Purple (7th Priory) and Grey (8th Priory).
The Holy Hospitallers Chapter badge is a white coloured Gules a cross argent, centered upon a field of crimson. The Veteran Marines of the Holy Order of the Most Militant display the Chapter's icon on a field of sable.
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By the Holy Hospitallers
- "Our more bellicose kin believe we are not 'true' Astartes...that we are nothing more than rear-echolon nursemaids for the old and infirm. Make no mistake, though we shepherd the weak and tend to the ill, we can still raise our bolter and blade when the need arises. We may be agents of mercy, but we are still Angels of Death!"
- — Bailliff Aldemar of the 1st Priory, response to comments by Third Captain Aemil of the Tempered Souls Chapter
- "In death is the Emperor's love equally shared."
- — Mantra of the Holy Hospitallers
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About the Holy Hospitallers
- "Though their doctrine of providing aid to average humans is respectable I find it somewhat misguided. Astartes are warriors first and protectors second. I feel we protect our brethren better by wielding the blade rather than tending their wounds."
- — Valk Aemil, Tempered Souls 3rd Company Captain
- "In all honesty, we rarely fight alongside them. Their engagements are rarely on the front lines of warzones, let alone behind them. That said, I respect what they do greatly. The Imperium is its citizens, and the Hospitallers preserve those citizens, and in turn preserve the Imperium itself."
- — Obsidian Blades, Lord of Knives.
- "More infidels crusading in the name of a False God! Come, brothers! Let us show them what a true Crusade looks like!"
- —Anonymous Champion of The Consecrated during a Chaos assault on the Hospitallers
- "You have the nerve to call yourself Space Marines! You are glorified nursemaids! Go tend to some humans sniffles while you let real Astartes do the fighting!"
- — Less than cordial exchange between the Holy Hospitallers and Euilitus Ephrain of the Wings of Salvaxes.
- "More worshipers of the Corpse God!? Come my brothers, destroy them! Show them what Mankind's destiny looks like!"
- —Anonymous marine of The Consecrated during a Chaos assault
- "I am honored to meet you here brother, shall we assist you in your task in this region, that is, if you permit us. My Company and my ships are ready and willing."
- — 9th Company Captain Xytiane of the Silver Knights Chapterm upon a chance meeting with the Holy Hospitallers doing their duties in the Segmentum Pacificus.
- "So...uhhh..thanks for the aid, doc. But, I don't have any insurance or cash right now....Here, take this heretic's head as collateral. When I get my cash, I'll take that back. Bye!"
- — A Holy Hospitallers Astartes' odd encounter with one of the Laughing Skull's Khagarsan.